Teach more effectively

with SCENA Train-the-Trainer Certification

More effective, engaging and efficient training using SCENA

Your training team is under more pressure to work with fewer resources but to deliver better training - how?

Let us work with you to develop your training team, using cutting-edge Research and Evidence which super-charges the effects you get from training.

Less Time?  More Content?  SCENA delivers.

The power of evidence-based training

High Learner Engagement

Because of the immediate relevance your staff see in your course design and delivery, they are engaged, motivated and energised during and after the training.

High Transfer to the Workplace

Because sessions are all driven by your own scenarios, issues and challenges with the people your people meet at work, it has immediate relevance and transfers directly to the day-to-day workplace.

 "Time Well Spent"

Teams attending your training get many, many opportunities to learn and practice their new skills during 'countless reps' of the target skills, actively learning in every session. You can get rid of those boring powerpoints!

Measurable Change Happens

With highly targeted new skills, your teams can make measurable changes to their interactions and truly realise your organisation's safety ethos, focussing on dignity and respect, safety and wellbeing.

"Can say without question this was one of the most interesting, challenging and enjoyable events I have attended in my career." - Learning and Development Specialist, (Undisclosed) Police Service

Calls for More Scenario-driven Training are Increasing


Policing Full Report

Is Officer Safety Training Broken? and if so, Can we fix it? (Long Read)

Recent research has suggested that Officer Safety Training in some forces may not be adequately preparing officers for the heightened risks of their work in the current climate, where assault on police are increasing.

Since 2006, I have audited a host of personal safety and restraint training programs, some of which have dusty histories that go back over 50 years with connections to asian martial arts, and some of which are more modern methods that have come to prominence only in the last couple of decades. Every trainer I have met is convinced that there are "better tactics" and usually that their tactics are the best.

The focus on ‘tactics’ and ‘techniques’ is understandable (and it is even fun sometimes!) however as I hope to explain, the key difference may be in the teaching and NOT in the technical.

There is an assault on a police officer roughly every 22 minutes in the UK.

When such an assault happens, officers rely on their Officer Safety Training (OST) to survive and resolve the incident. In this sense it has some similarities to the Breakaway training our NHS clinical staff receive, and the self-defence training that our Prison Service staff receive, in that its purpose is to prepare at-risk workers for the occupational use of force in their workplace. When the training includes the control and restraint of violently resisting subjects, it may be referred to as Arrest and Self-Defence Skills (ASDS).

I also learned that although most police officers attend officer safety training on an annual basis, the nature, design, content, delivery and crucially the effectiveness of this training is not very well understood. Research into the effectiveness of officer safety training is sparse, however in recent years those who have cast their eyes on this part of police training have been looking at it from a few new and different angles.

Let’s pause for a moment to consider the importance of OST and ASDS training in terms of the police officer, the police services and the public they serve. A quick Google search for police use of force will render story after story of tragic incidents where often vulnerable people have died in police custody where the arrest, control and restraint methods used during their final moments are put under intense scrutiny.

“What the research tells us is that highly skilled police officers tend to use force very effectively. They've got a wider range of techniques to use. And they generally use less force in confrontational situations. However, less skilled officers are more likely to use more force and use force inappropriately. The reason for this is often because of fear.” --Prof. Chris Cushion

I always look at these incidents as multiple tragedies: the officers involved face personal, legal, emotional and organisational stress in addition to the loss, heart-ache, grief and frustration of the relatives of those who lose their lives.

Arguably, beyond the cost and return on investment of providing this training from an organisational point of view, officers and the public deserve to have confidence that OST and ASDS training is achieving its aims: greater safety, less risk and consistency in the appropriate use of force.

Early in my career, I was escorted into a room at a national-level agency and shown a single, security-restricted copy of the ‘Self-Defence’ training programme which was being taught to at-risk staff. My sense of anticipation before opening that document caused my heart to race. You can only imagine my disappointment, however, when I discovered that the ‘security restricted’ material was no better than was available to anyone who can get their hands on the still on-sale 1960s-era Japanese Karate books on the Martial Arts shelf at your local bookstore!

The truth is, there are probably as many different approaches and opinions about the physical management of confrontations as there are people interested in them.

In fact my friend and mentor Gary Klugiewicz from Vistelar, a global consulting and training company focussing on the entire spectrum of human conflict, has often repeated the following: “defensive tactics are a matter of opinion”


In 2014 I met researcher and coaching expert Prof. Chris Cushion, who has for thirty years specialised in coaching and trainer-education. We started a conversation about the efficacy of using a training methodology in which the tactics were based on behavioural, observable effects of violence and the instinctive responses involved in kinetic high-stress violent encounters. We had many conversations and spent more than a few hours in the training hall exploring the issues.

Chris was already experienced in martial arts prior to turning his professional eye on OST and ASDS. One of his first hypotheses that caught my eye was that, while so many of us trainers are wrapped up in the merits of individual tactics for physical intervention, personal safety and restraint, perhaps as a sector we were missing something that he believed that was glaringly obvious.

Perhaps, he said, it was HOW we taught and not what we taught that would make the difference to our learners when, while single-crewed and responding to a call out, they needed to perform tactics robustly and at a high level of skill, with very little notice or preparation, in the context of their working day.

“Obviously, there's huge pressure, financial pressures, resources in training. And how can we do this in a short amount of time and for less money. The purpose of this research overall is try to understand, well what's being done. Is it effective? Does it produce highly skilled officers?” -- Prof. Chris Cushion

We have collaborated extensively to address what may be one of the biggest problems in our industry (learner performance under real-world pressure), while also pointing out the fact that maybe, just maybe, there were already evidence-based and well researched models from the field of coaching, learning and performance which we could lean on to improve the results we were getting with our learners.

While I set out on a professional journey to change the way I and my team of trainers at Dynamis would plan and design and deliver our training in the education, health, social care, hospital security sectors based on his advice, Chris focused his attention on what was happening in the police services and attempted to discover how officer safety training was being delivered to arguably the most at-risk group of workers in the UK in terms of physical assault risk.

His feeling is that the degree of contextualisation, the practice design and the coaching behaviours which shape the learning environment has a large effect on learning, real world performance and therefore true officer safety outcomes.

The results of his study into officer safety training at one police service were published in a Journal of Policing article, published by Oxford University press.

Although limited to one police service’s training provision, some of his findings from this study were :

  • a lot of the officers’ learning time was spent standing around or in transitions
  • there was a lot of time where the learning was passive (simply watching or listening)
  • consequently, paired work and functional time actually practicing tactics was limited
  • mainly Blocked Practice did not mirror the job task and was disjointed from real-world timelines
  • program design was not uniform from one session to another
  • content differed from one OST course to another
  • feedback on performance, from the perspective of the individual learner, was limited

A key issue that he noted was that the trainers themselves had low self-awareness, which happens to be (I learned) extremely common among coaches across the entire domain of coaching and instruction. What this means is that coaching and training staff may have certain beliefs about the effectiveness of the program they are teaching which do not match the reported experiences of their learners or the confidence of those learners to persevere in high-risk encounters.

“This is the reality: Violence is chaotic. It's pressure. It's chaos. It's aggressive and very surprising. The training, however, is isolated, low pressure, very predictable, and very linear. The similarity between the training and what officers have to face on the street? It is very different.” -- Prof. Chris Cushion

There were many other notable points made in the study. Overall, what the study suggests is that the learners - our frontline police officers - who need to use and rely on their personal safety training on a daily basis, may have a low level of confidence that the training they are receiving is effective, and crucially it is possible that their trainers may have little awareness of this.

The World Health Organisation re: Simulation in Health and Care Training

Simulation in nursing and midwifery education - World Health Organisation

"Simulation has been used widely in the clinical training of health-care students and professionals. It is a valuable strategy for teaching, learning and evaluating clinical skills at different levels of nursing and midwifery education: undergraduate, postgraduate and lifelong education (Park et al., 2016; Martins, 2017).

Simulation has a positive impact on students, educators, and the individuals, groups and communities they care for, as well as on education and health organizations. The principal aims of simulation as a teaching method are to improve quality of care and ensure patient safety.

The WHO document Transforming and scaling up health professionals’ education and training (WHO, 2013) strongly recommends the use of simulation. 

A large proportion of nursing and midwifery education curricula worldwide is dedicated to the acquisition of clinical skills. At the beginning of the learning period in clinical settings, students should be able to develop safe and timely evidence-based interventions without being interrupted by supervisors due to technical errors that may jeopardize patients’ and students’ safety. In clinical practice with actual patients, students should be self-confident and feel that others trust them; they should feel capable of performing tasks without errors and be confident that the supervisor and other team members believe in their abilities.

From an ethical perspective, invasive procedures should not be taught or practised on real people; instead, trainees should be able to train in simulated, controlled and safe environments, allowing them to make errors and learn from them with no harmful consequences to any person. This ensures absolute respect for human rights by protecting patients’ dignity and guarantees the quality of nursing care, even during health professionals’ learning processes.

Simulation as an active pedagogical strategy helps students to consolidate and value knowledge, develop technical and relational skills, and create rules and habits for thinking and reflection, thereby contributing to the training of competent professionals. In addition, the process is developed within a safe environment for students, teachers and patients (Martins, 2017).

Despite international recommendations to include simulation in nursing and midwifery education and the evidence of its benefits, many institutions have difficulties in integrating simulation methods in their curricula. Reasons for this include the lack of national incentives to transform and scale up nursing and midwifery education, available funding, existing facilities, curriculum management, and the readiness and disposition of school faculties and management.

The way that simulation is integrated in the curriculum varies widely across institutions and countries. Simulation can be integrated into several course units, into theoretical course units as a practical component, or into clinical training course units; simulated practice can also comprise a course unit. Students have the opportunity through some curricula to train in different techniques in different scenarios, while in others, students remain mostly as observers. Simulation can be used almost entirely for the purpose of learning and training specific techniques or can focus on developing more comprehensive and cross-cutting skills (such as patient and team communication, teamwork, decision- making, management of adverse events and leadership) by gradually incorporating techniques in complete scenarios of increasing complexity."

Simulation in nursing and midwifery education - W.H.O. - https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/383807/snme-report-eng.pdf?ua=1

Watch our 7-Video Introduction to the SCENA approach

Professor Chris Cushion discusses, in seven short videos, how established evidence and research helps you design and deliver more engaging, effective and efficient training courses in Conflict and Physical Interventions.

Our Partners and Accreditation

Loughborough University

Collaborative Partner with Loughborough UNiversity

In collaboration with Loughborough University School of Sport, Health and Exercise, Dynamis has been developing an Evidence-based and Research-informed pathway for the teaching and learning of effective Conflict skills since 2015, called SCENA.

ICM Logo

Member of The Institute of

Conflict Management

Dynamis is a Quality Award Centre with the ICM, a recognised accrediting body in the U.K. for workplace training in the prevention and management of workplace violence.

Our Process


Book your free Talk About Training.

Every trainer has unique needs and so you need a unique approach to your development. Our free training needs assessment is a 30-minute process where we identify where you are at, and if SCENA will help you.


Take Part in Train-the-Trainer Development using SCENA

You will learn a completely modern way of delivering training in communications, conflict and physical interventions, based on the latest evidence and research. 


You deliver standout training which your learners rave about 

Following your SCENA foundations training, you will start to see training design and delivery in a brand new way and your learners will engage and enjoy your courses like never before.

Gerard O'Dea  //  Director of Training at Dynamis

Hi and thanks for visiting our Train-The -Trainer webpage today.

In over 15 years of engaging in professional development myself and seeing the experiences of other trainers in our sector, I know the importance of GOOD continuing professional development opportunities.

Resources are scarce and organisations need to know that their trainers will bring valuable insights, new methodologies and functional fixes for real problems back from their CPD.

At Dynamis we have been pioneering modern and functionally effective training methods for both verbal and physical skills in preventing and managing conflict since 2006.

The result is SCENA - a collaboration with Chris Cushion - a specialist Learning and Coaching expert from Loughborough University - which brings the latest evidence and research together with thousands of hours of our training experience, to create a new pathway for teaching and learning skills for resolving conflict - decision making, verbal skills, physical skills and teamwork.

Joins us and our team of SCENA 'Wizards', who create Efficient, Engaging and Effective training experiences.

Gerard O'Dea

We use SCENA to deliver satisfaction...

Best Course I have attended in the NHS...

“This was by far the best course I’ve attended in the NHS. Fit for purpose, current, relevant and extremely well delivered.  10/10 for delivery, professionalism and structure.”

Andy W.  //  Security Management Specialist

Informative and Enjoyable...

“A very professionally run training course, Gerard was a very knowledgeable and relaxed instructor who put the group at ease and made the day both informative and enjoyable.”

Stephen B.  // Ambulance Care Assistant

Brought in real life situations...

"I was very nervous about this training but it was a great environment and he made us feel at ease and was encouraging. I liked how he brought in real life situations to make the training more relatable.”

Natalie C.  //  Dementia Care Senior Support

Knowledgeable and Interactive...

“Very approachable, knowledgable and interactive facilitator who encouraged group discussions and used personal experience to back up the theory/learning”

Children's Respite Centre Senior Carer  //  Peterborough City Council.

When:  SCENA Train-the-Trainer Foundation Course takes 5 Days of in-person training, plus project work back in your workplace..

Who:  Trainers coming on our courses are usually experienced professionals in their own right, with training experience in the Conflict Management, Customer Service, Personal Safety or Physical Interventions domain.  They hold Level 3 Qualifications in physical intervention, conflict management and breakaway/self-protection and sometimes already hold Level 3 Teaching qualifications. 

Where:  Training is held at Loughborough University or another high-quality training venue chosen to match your needs.

How:  Your Coach Development Team deliver this course using a mix of pre-course learning, lecture/presentation, Q&A, teaching practice and scenario rehearsal.  The final assessment is based on a workplace project submitted after the in-person course.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the training carried out?

What is the investment in training?

How quickly can I book training to happen?

How many people can attend a training course?

Is Dynamis training Accredited?

Is the training suitable for my staff and my context?

July 8, 2021

“During the visit, the untrained Options employee was left alone in a kitchen with the individual despite a care plan stating that the resident, whose violence and aggression had been clearly identified, required the attendance of two care workers at all times. Whilst the employee was unaccompanied, the resident crossed the kitchen and stabbed the (read more)

June 10, 2021

The new trainer team for this service began rolling out their own programme (a four-day, full-spectrum course for their LD/MH setting) to their staff in October.   By December, they had seen dramatic reductions in key indicators such as time-in-restraint, floor-based-restraints and number-of-restraints for their high-frequency service users.  “The amount of time we are spending in (read more)

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